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Construction imminent for 55-plus community

Marie Havenga • Oct 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM

SPRING LAKE — As developers, and local and state officials pushed shovels into the ground for a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the beginning of a new 55-plus community Thursday afternoon, developer Phil Seybert actually scooped dirt.

No one could blame his enthusiasm. He's waited almost a decade for this moment. Construction is imminent and the community is expected to be completed at this time next year.

Seybert first obtained Village approval for the development on Liberty Street, north of M-104, in 2007. But a slouching economy put the brakes on the project.

Seybert's son, Garrett, has taken over the project, which includes 24 two-bedroom, two-bath apartments.

There are already more than 45 people on the list of interested future residents, which makes a waiting list of 21.

In July 2015, the Mill Point Place development received a boost when the Michigan State Housing Development Authority awarded $296,000 in tax credits to the project.

According to rules of the tax credits, Seybert will be able to claim the credits every year for 10 years, so the actual value of the tax credit is $2.96 million over 10 years.

The tax credits will help subsidize the low- to moderate-income apartments, similar to what Phil Seybert arranged at Spring Lake Township's Lloyd's Bayou Senior Apartments, which he also constructed. Lloyd's Bayou has since been purchased by Bloomfield Hills-based American House Senior Living Communities.

Spring Lake Township, the taxing authority for Village parcels, two years ago approved a “payment in lieu of taxes” agreement with Seybert, similar to what is in place at Lloyd's Bayou. Under the agreement, the Township would receive 4 percent of net rents after utilities instead of traditional property tax payments.

The Mount Pleasant developer estimated at that time that the annual payments to the township would be between $7,000 and $7,500.

Construction is expected to begin imminently.

“It's been nine years since we first started this,” Phil said. “This feels very good.

Village Manager Chris Burns said the project is ideally located, near downtown stores, the recently expanded Mill Point Station medical facility, parks and the bike path.

“It's been a very long time,” she said. “It's nice to have this checked off the list and moving forward. I think there's a definite need for it. And I really think it will add to the vibrancy of downtown.”

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